You've heard of Mumpreneurs - the mothers who turn their brilliant baby ideas into businesses. Now meet the dads who are taking them on at their own game.
'I went from designing tools to making baby bibs'
Paul Brown 47, is married to Fiona, 46. They have a 10 year-old daughter, Bethany, and live in Cambridge. Paul invented the Ultrabib, a super-flexible, stain-resistant bib for messy mealtimes.
It was dinner time and new dad Paul was attempting to feed his daughter Bethany, then less than a year old, and discovering what every mum knows – babies are messy creatures.
He said: "There was pureed food everywhere and Bethany's bib which was supposed to protect her clothes was worse than useless. I looked in the kitchen drawer for another and that's when I realised the problem.
"We had hundreds of baby bibs but not one was up to the job."
Paul's working life was spent designing the functional things we take for granted, such as Black & Decker tools, chip & pin terminals and toasters that tell you when your bread is just how you like it.
Bethany's bib problem got his creative juices flowing.
He thought: "There must be a material that is soft, wipe-clean, absorbent and stainproof."
But it wasn't until a family holiday a couple of years later that he found it.
"We went surfing in Devon, and all of us were wearing wetsuits made from something called neoprene - a material that is flexible, naturally waterproof, easy-to-clean, strong and durable," Paul explained.
It was perfect for a baby's bib. As soon as we arrived home I made a prototype using some of the material I'd cut from a wetsuit.
He designed several prototypes, put them through the washing machine to test their water repellent qualities, then gave some to a local nursery to try.
"They were bullet-proof," he said. "I couldn't believe how perfect neoprene was for a baby bib."
He was so certain that his bibs would be a hit that he gave up his day job, converted his shed to an office and became a full-time dadpreneur.
It was a gamble - one that paid off. Now Ultrabib is recognised by parents and the industry alike with retailing giants such as Asda, Boots, Morrisons, Tesco, Sainsbury's, Waitrose and Toys 'R' Us falling over themselves to stock it.
And the move has transformed Paul's life.
He said: "Because I work from home, I've minimised business office rental costs and it allows me huge flexibility with work-family life balance.
"It's an ideal solution for a start-up company like mine – but it's also a very relaxing working environment, being in a beautiful garden surrounded by trees and birds singing."
Paul and Fiona currently sell about £400,000 worth of bibs a year, mainly in the UK, through their company Bibetta. Although the couple run the business largely by themselves they employ some part time staff and are recruiting more now.
'I gave up my job to follow my dream'
Russell Clifton, 39, is a former youth service manager. He and his partner Martha, 33, have two children, Amber, eight, and Ashley, who is nearly two. They live in Manchester. Russell invented the Ruk-bug, a backpack that doubles as a pushchair.
It was a scene familiar to many parents with small children. Russell and his partner Martha had just returned from a holiday with their nine-month-old baby.
It was late, the family had been travelling for 24 hours and now exhausted all they wanted to do was pick up their luggage and go home.
And then they saw it – and their hearts sank.
Gliding past on the carousel at baggage reclaim was their daughter's pushchair, bent out of shape and useless.
Russell said: "It was 3am, we had been travelling from Mexico since early the previous day and were tired. We were laden down with suitcases, a sleeping baby and a pushchair that wouldn't unfold – and everywhere was shut."
That was the moment that Russell thought: "There has to be another way."
"I always travel with a rucksack as I find it easier because both hands are free. I thought: 'Why not combine that with a pushchair?'" he said
The idea grew as his daughter Amber did.
"Different situations posed different problems,' said Russell.
When Amber was walking properly, she would sometimes want to walk when we got out of the car so we would leave the pushchair behind and then end up having to carry her for half the time we were out.
But for four years the idea remained just an idea before Russell finally took the plunge.
He resigned from the security of his job as Curriculum Development Officer for Manchester Youth Service and enrolled on a business training course, which gave him the confidence to pursue his dream further.
But it's not been an easy journey.
He said: "The benefits of being a Dadpreneur haven't come yet. We have had the hard times. Last year with the cuts in public service, Martha became redundant towards the end of her maternity leave and as most of my consultancy work was with the public sector, my work dried up too.
"We spent a long time looking for work but I refused to give up on the idea. The vultures began to circle as the money ran out and I sold my car to put the money into the business."
Finally, thing are looking up. The design of the Ruk-bug is now being finalised and Russell is working towards production by the end of the year with a trade show in September where he will begin to take orders.
"Currently Ruk-bug is just me,' said Russell. "I'm involved in everything from the design to the marketing."
But despite the hard work, Russell believes the benefits of being a Dadpreneur are enormous.
He said: "I can stop work and spend time with the children after Amber finishes school and then work again in the evenings when they've gone to bed.
"I do work harder but because I work for myself it means more."
The older dads with a booming business in baby blankets
David Solomons, 45, is divorced dad to Sunny, 19, and Jacy, 16. He lives on a converted lifeboat-turned-houseboat on the River Adur, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex. His business partner, next door neighbour and fellow Dadpreneur is Mike Edwards, 49, who is married to Heidi, 44. They have two children, Thea, 17, and Reuben, 14. Together, David and Mike invented the Snugglebundl, an all-in-one safety blanket for lifting and carrying babies.
At first glance, David Solomons and Mike Edwards might not look like the answer to a new mum's prayers.
But the pair, who live side-by-side on houseboats in Sussex, have used their experiences as dads to solve a problem thousands of mothers face – lifting their newborns.
The idea for Snugglebundl came about after David's first child, Sunny, was born 19 years ago.
He said: "My wife Suzi had complications during the birth and needed stitches, which made it very hard for her to bend or stoop. This was incredibly frustrating for her but I couldn't help much either because I had a bad back."
Between the two of them they found lifting their baby and manoeuvring her in and out of pushchairs, car seats and cots, awkward and painful.
"My daughter was a few months old and getting quite heavy," said David.
"I struggled with lugging the car seat in and out the car with her in and also in lifting and laying her down.
"So one day I laid out an old square of blanket with her on top and gathered in the four corners which meant I could lift her up in a bundle and then I could place her into the car seat in the same way.
"In the same manner I discovered that by doing this I could move her without waking her and if she went to sleep in my arms I could lower her down in the same way."
It was David's eureka moment. But the idea remained on the back burner while he continued to support his family, juggling being a dad quite literally with his work as a circus entertainer.
It wasn't until after the break-up of his marriage when he found himself living next-door to Mike and the pair started to reminisce about their struggles as new dads, that David remembered the blanket.
Along with Mike's wife, Heidi, they worked around-the-clock, making one prototype after another.
Finally, they had a design they were happy with and in its first year it won a £50,000 business award.
Six months down the line, their order books are bulging.
David said: "Mike and I are two dads in a very mum-dominated business but we have been accepted among Mumpreneur groups.
"As dads, we are into the practical workings of things and we have had to try to see our product from a mum's eye."
As for Mike, he has relished swapping teaching for life as a Dadpreneur
He said: "I work fewer hours, don't have screaming kids in the corridor and don't work till midnight marking exercise books. Life is a lot easier.
"Seeing mums using our Snugglebundl to make their lives easier has made me realise how special it is to have such healthy and wonderful children myself."
Have you used any of these inventions?
What do you wish someone could invent to make your life easier?